TaylorMade Itsy Bitsy Monza Spider review

With putting woes at an all-time low, Alex Narey finds some new love with the TaylorMade Itsy Bitsy Spider

I m going to cut straight to the chase, even though it s a bit of a mouthful: the TaylorMade Rossa Itsy Bitsy Monza Spider has saved my putting life. It s true! After scratching around turning birdie opportunities into bogeys, this mid-sized mallet - released as a smaller version of the TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider has actually made the painful process of five-footers more of a challenge than a chore.

Getting things in perspective, there are two things I avoid doing at all costs: one is shaving, the other is making an unwanted visit to the putting green prior to a round. Aside from the fact I m usually late (which in part explains the lack of facial grooming), the thought of lining up a series of tiddlers in the hope that it will make my scorecard more appealing comes a distant second to drilling the driver down the range.

But while I have never been one for putting (no pun) in the hard work, there has never really been a weapon of choice to urge me to try harder. In fact, with expletive-filled tantrums and the odd bit of club throwing still part of my mental make-up, the countless putters I have fallen out of love with have felt the full force of the Narey wrath.

But a change of heart began some months ago during Golf Monthly s annual Advertisers Day at the Grove. Playing in a four-ball with TaylorMade s European Public Relations Manager, Nick Robbie, my attention turned to the oversized Monza Spider mallet sitting in his bag. This interest increased with every ten-footer Nick rolled in, each one struck with nonchalant ease. Not a bad way to market your product.

On the downside, I wasn t blown away by the oversize looks. But with news filtering through that a smaller version was on its way later in the summer, I felt somewhat obliged to put one to test following its arrival in the GM office.

Talking specifications here, the Itsy Bitsy s head is 20% smaller than its oversized cousin. At first glance everything else looks the same. But its wings have been pulled inward and the alignment aid is an abbreviated version. However, just like the oversize, the Itsy Bitsy offers fantastic stability. I also found it particularly solid on shorter putts.

If you are looking to invest in a new putter this winter, then you could do a lot worse than fork out the £139 at retail for this little gem. It has inspired confidence to the extent that I may even take myself off to the putting green before my next round. As for shaving, well, one thing at time

Alex began his journalism career in regional newspapers in 2001 and moved to the Press Association four years later. He spent three years working at Dennis Publishing before first joining Golf Monthly, where he was on the staff from 2008 to 2015 as the brand's managing editor, overseeing the day-to-day running of our award-winning magazine while also contributing across various digital platforms. A specialist in news and feature content, he has interviewed many of the world's top golfers and returns to Golf Monthly after a three-year stint working on the Daily Telegraph's sports desk. His current role is diverse as he undertakes a number of duties, from managing creative solutions campaigns in both digital and print to writing long-form features for the magazine. Alex has enjoyed a life-long passion for golf and currently plays to a handicap of 13 at Tylney Park Golf Club in Hampshire.